Monday 19 March 2018

Erik Lindegren: 'mannen utan väg' - sonnets 11-20


and I sink only deeper into the earth’s spring
that grows in my mouth in my hands my throat

while dusk in the valley quickens its footsteps
and the shadows throw off the glow of impatience

as if they heard earth’s muffled cry from my mouth
and wished to ignite the spruces’ trailing wings

to flee from far too secret afflictions
the bloody spur’s insistence on nowhere –

but at the sources’ gleaming roots where the giant’s eye
slipped from my embrace up to the bier of the stars

I found an abbey of strength with loosening currents
a hand of silence that kneaded the clay

and I rested in safety under the burden of the stones
under the protection of the burdens in twilight’s bleeding spring


the day dons the wind’s twisted garment
and once again I do not trust rain’s silent drops

where they free themselves from loving branches and leaves
that cannot keep them cannot hate them

but when I turn round there is no one there
only the earth’s surface curves and something smiles

and even so I am afraid of being abducted from the earth
with its uncertain fevers and secret journeys

where everything seems to grow tired and wants to leave me
where even the mirage refuses to materialise

where the scheming eye that impartially observes me
does not even need to speak only be enclosed in desire

where madness is inaccessible and the mouth widens
into a cry of despair that collapses into silence


how many day’s journeys with you in my arms
must I not make behind death’s white crest

only to say farewell to the visions of these binoculars
and hang the desert’s horsetails on the nail of fear

rigid and blacked-out the eye rests on its base
and hammer blows resound in the bird-tent of space

arm in arm with the echo the finishing tape flutters in the wind
but the winner has already fallen down and bled to death

for sale: his memory and his consciousness
that crystal-clearly has confuted the hurricane

his smile at the souls’ lack of touchwood
and lack of tears that heal chapped lips

I squeeze his hand while the loss increases
and death buys more and more lives on credit


in the hollowed-out mist a water-lily sky cracked
and the dazzled trees rocked their springboard

it was spring and I rolled up my desert
and the female oracle lifted her veil of ashes

I was content to bury my hand in her garment
but ah beyond the rainbow dynamite was enthroned

grant me now a picture of her worm-bitten nakedness
and I will believe in the resurrection to rage

nothing shall disturb her sleep in a gutter
not even her lap stigmatised by a snake

over coupled gravestones I will let fall my leaves
and I will paint my heart with smoking courage

I will count up to disintegration’s holy numbers
where everything changes into its opposite


the drums roam in the morning light’s place of execution
and a body wakes up in the gleam of extinguished spirit

a hand runs out and does not know where it belongs
until it slowly shrinks before everyone’s gaze

what remains of hope will now pin down death
that floats in the chasm of hostile voices

all bridges are blown up only these chasms remain
and this shame that is covered with the cloth of derision

look the sun announces a mocking and cruel pietà
but who lifts what is fallen from her lips

who approaches the poisonous fear that lives
under the crime scene’s plantain in the collective heart

no rather dead suffering dead fate and the betrayed
blood that faintly gushes around the nightingale’s source


The death-walker raises his emaciated hand
as a warning that goes into a spin above the valley

the void’s icy tinkling lashes his purity
sprinkled with sparkling pain and the light of doubt

confined deserts dredge for his fingers
but the mummy’s filled pitcher sings full of hope

behind the year-rings of blindness his lookout sways
and the hiding place shivers at the gaze of the blindman

Soon from the anchorage of cloudy eyes he will
get to see the stones’ course under the waterfall’s axes

soon the claw of silence will kill his shadow
and snow fall sleepless in the deadflesh of all fear

for I am following a man who is more than blind
whose justified suspicions can never be proved


I saw him quivering in the hard light of consciousness
while algae dripped snails and green matter after his limbs

I saw him holding his breath for four whole black days
while waiting for the day to present a question

I saw the evening pass by with surprise in its gaze
that surprise which is worse than a recognition

I saw him being tormented by everything he had loved
and how his heart sank so as to fill out the void

I saw him collapse under the earth’s impassive hatred
reduced to the horrible secret of a metronome

I saw him try to grasp the skirt of the past
and his divining-rod bend with a smile towards nothing

I saw his mouth gaping like a crucified x
a simple equation for torture of the third degree


I saw his dim image in the yellowing current
and the ungraspable in a handful of past serenity

I saw collapsed skies at his smoking feet
and the sun’s taken-in sail under the swan’s wing

I saw the negative: all that also was him
when the dream has let fall its silver in the bath of twilight

I saw his endless thousand-headed delta
that already tasted of salt: the all-embracing ocean

I heard a clock in the pillar’s darkening light
strike twelve resounding strokes in memory of the dust

in memory of the child that has found its voice
and does not dread the fear of days to come

though this is the hour when the clocks are wound up
and the mist comes and the revolver seeks a hand


hands grope and weigh down each other’s promises
a foot consumes his mouth but endurance refreshes

the weathervane’s rusting oblivion cuts into our flesh
but no wheel arches the wound towards screaming skies

nothing bygone passes towards the roar of the waterfall
no movements hurt in the far too narrow lap

the sea’s last surf gets lost in the labyrinth
and the lamps are lit in the sunken man’s coral eyes

and when they are reflected in the demon’s bleeding lips
invisible we are wound into each other’s caves

and the whispers increase in strength and bliss
as if they bore a drowning girl in their embrace

but we are washed along walls are cradled in lead
no more is our hand lifted in the burning sun


what does death then shake from its sleeve that we do not know
a moth-eaten riddle a map for a thousand greedy eyes

a dragon’s music which everyone hears but no one understands
a tower of cloud that buries all our echoes

a cripple’s engraved nameplate in the spring of springs
and the pillars’ stone-heavy defiance in the sun-temple’s forecourt

a demon that roams disguised in the lull of fear
and the ocean’s long slit-eyes with a gleam of belladonna

and a rain’s whistling for the farm’s put-down dog
harshly out of tune like a called-off miracle

and yet disappointment must once more give birth to light
wonderfully, unexpectedly like an old man on the roof of spring

and the flesh becomes word and revelation blossoms
and the orbits of the planets slash the unsuspecting eye

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